Study objectives and methods: To measure the prevalence of, and factors associated with, left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in SSc, we first queried the EUSTAR database. In a second phase, we performed a case-control study of a patient subset, to further identify independent factors associated with LV dysfunction by simple and multiple regression.
Results: Among 7,073 patients, 383 (5.4%) had a LV ejection fraction (EF) <55%. By multiple regression analysis, age, sex, diffuse cutaneous disease, disease duration, digital ulcerations, renal and muscle involvement, disease activity score, pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) were associated with LV dysfunction. In a second phase, 129 SSc patients with LVEF <55% were compared with 256 SSc patients with normal LVEF. Male sex (OR 3.48; 95% CI1.74-6.98), age (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01-1.06), digital ulcerations (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.05-3.50), myositis (OR 2.88; 95% CI 1.15-7.19), and calcium channel blockers (CCB) use (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.22-0.74) were independent factors associated with LV dysfunction.
Conclusion: The prevalence of LV dysfunction in SSc is 5.4%. Age, male gender, digital ulcerations, myositis and lung involvement are independently associated with increased prevalence of LV dysfunction. Conversely, CCB use may appear as protective.